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Xbox Live password hack outed by 5-year-old criminal mastermind

All it took was the space bar to bypass Microsoft’s password security protections on Xbox Live, as 5-year-old Kristoffer Von Hassel. No, the young’un isn’t actually a criminal mastermind; he accidentally made the discovery when he input nothing but blank spaces into the password verification field when attempting to sign into his dad’s account, as local San Diego news station KGTV reports.

Kristoffer’s parents noticed just after Christmas 2013 that he was logging into his father’s account and playing games he wasn’t allowed to touch. Confronted by his father, Richard Davies, the pint-sized hacker demonstrated how he bypassed the password verification by simply hitting the space bar until the field was full and pressing enter.

Davies, who works in computer security, reported the flaw to Microsoft, which quickly responded with a fix and credited young Kristoffer on its website as one of the security researchers that have helped make the company’s online services safer. He also received $50, a complimentary one-year Xbox Live Gold subscription, and four free games.

Microsoft addressed the matter with a public statement: “We’re always listening to our customers and thank them for bringing issues to our attention. We take security seriously at Xbox and fixed the issue as soon as we learned about it.”